Last weekend my best friend and I, along with a couple of others, went on a somewhat spontaneous roadtrip. The story of that trip will come another day, but for now it will suffice to say that the trailer we had along (and THOUGHT needed to go) got a flat tire. One of the guys changed it… and then like 2 minutes later (or less) it happened again. There was a piece of metal that needed to come off, and after spending a rather long time trying to get it off, we ended up leaving the trailer on the side of the road for my best friend’s dad to come retrieve the next day. He finally got the metal off, changed the tire, and got back on the road… only to have the axle break like 5 miles later. (You see, the trailer was NOT supposed to go. As much help as we thought it would be, it was not supposed to go. That became increasingly obvious to us. God always knows what He is doing. Always.)

So while we learned last weekend to be thankful in a way for flat tires (because it meant abandoning the trailer that we thought we were supposed to be taking)… I found myself learning the same thing again tonight.

Tonight I was thankful once again for those flat tires last weekend.. because it meant that when my car had a flat tire tonight, I knew exactly what that sound meant, without a doubt. No experimentation needed to figure out what the funny noise was, I already knew.

As I found a place to pull off the busy road and into a parking lot, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 was so constantly at the forefront of my mind:

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I am thankful that I know exactly what flat tires sound like and that the sound was fresh in my mind after last weekend. I am thankful that this happened tonight, rather than next weekend when I’m at a meeting in Indianapolis and my family is camping in Columbus. I am thankful my daddy was already in the area where I was. I am thankful it wasn’t raining (or storming!) when my tire needed to be changed. And I am thankful that God brought this verse to my mind when He knew I needed it. I am so thankful that God knows my every need and that He meets those needs exceedingly more than I could ever dream.

Once in a while lots of times it’s hard to be thankful.

When storms rip apart homes and schools and families, it is really hard to give thanks.

When people you’re close to die, that is a hard time to give thanks too.

When it seems like there just isn’t enough money for all your needs, it seems like there is nothing to be thankful for.

When there are so many starving people in the world and so many people who just don’t care… it’s incredibly hard to be thankful.

And yet, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. God knows what He’s doing. He is here, He is sovereign, He is big, and He is GOOD. Even when life stinks, God is good.